DUBBED BOTH "THE SATRIANI OF THE SOUTH" AND "PERTH'S ANSWER TO STEVE VAI" BY AUSTRALIAN GUITAR MAGAZINE, GUITARIST GRAHAM GREENE INTRODUCES HIMSELF TO THE EAST COAST AS A SPECIAL GUEST OF THE INAUGURAL GUITAR HEROES:GUITAR FEST.
MICHAEL SMITH INVESTIGATES.

WESTERN GUITAR MAN

"I was about 15 when I first picked up the guitar," Greene explains. "I grew up in the bush with no television or commercial radio, so I hadn't really been exposed to anything modern and up to that point Beethoven was my man, and I remember the night I was turned on to it - it was like a religious experience and I became obsessed with it."

The turning point was hearing three albums - Slade Alive, Black Sabbath's Masters Of Reality and Deep Purple In Rock - and it was Ritchie Blackmore that replaced Beethoven and took him through the rest of his teens and into his first bands.

"Frome there I got into jazz players like Larry Carlton and Al DiMeola. Because I'd grown up listening to ABC Radio, I never followed any particular genre. I just listened to guitar music, whether it was Django Reinhardt or Jeff Beck I just started absorbing it all."

For the first decade between 1982 and 1992, Greene was averaging 300 gigs or sessions a year, so his chops soon got good enough to attract the sort of comparisons that opened this story, gigging around WA principally in two bands, Flash Harry and then Ice Tiger, which released an album, Love'n'Crime, in 1991, that also had an overseas release before relations between band and label went sour. So Greene stepped out as a solo artist.

"I'd dabbled with instrumentals and by this time I'd heard Steve Morse, Satriani and Vai, but there were people that came before them that really  did it for me as far as the guitar as an instrumental voice went, so that's when I started thinking along the lines of the guitar as the main voice and in 1994 I headlined the West Australian Music Awards in His Majesty's Theatre in Perth and that was my first performance as a bandleader and solo artist playing instrumental stuff."

Graham Greene

Since his wife Donna is a singer, Greene also writes songs as well as instrumentals, playing the sideman on her latest EP, Resonance, but as well as the 'rock' instrumental albums, the latest of which is Leap Of Face, Greene has also cut an ambient album, Gaia Rising.

"When music touches, it can really touch you deeply. Words can wash over the surface but music gets right into the core of the matter and it can just celebrate - it doesn't need a reason or a rhyme."

WHO Graham Greene
WHAT Leap Of Face (independent)
WHEN &
WHERE
Saturday 6 and Sunday 7 October,
Bridge Hotel, Rozelle

2007 Drum Media Magazine

Interview - Drum Media Magazine - 2 October 2007